Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spring Breakers Sin Miedo

A dark and humorous window into the truth behind the War on Drugs in Mexico... Just the latest from some of my dear friends from the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Greg Berger has been building the Revolutionary Tourist Project since 2003, and if my instincts (and eyes) serve me well, he may have had something to do with a crew called Los Detonadores whose recent intervention around the Mexican Bicentennial went viral throughout the country (here's the version with English translation).

In other zapagringo news, there are going to be a number of events in October here in NYC related to the Other Campaign. On Wednesday, October 6 an event The Struggle for Autonomy in Oaxaca: State Repression against San Juan Copala will be held at Bluestockings. On Wednesday, October 13 Movement for Justice in El Barrio is hosting a Victory Celebration for Atenco at Judson Memorial Church. And the most exciting Other Campaign news of October is yet to be released... so stay tuned!

Further south, news surrounding the "attempted coup" in Ecuador continues to flow. Here is an interesting, if informal, update that arrived in my inbox a few hours ago:

The situation in Ecuador today is further complicated by the disillusion that the very social forces that elected President Correa have with his actions in office. The CONAIE (Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador), the leading national indigenous movement with strong alliances with labor and other social forces, held a press conference today to say that it is neither with the police forces nor with President Correa. The CONAIE and its hundreds of thousands of participants is not only responsible for Correa's election, but its mobilizations caused the rapid-fire resignations of previous presidents of Ecuador in this century.

The situation thus also shines a light on the growing rift in the hemisphere between the statist left and the indigenous left and related autonomy and labor movements. The CONAIE is basically saying to Correa, "You want our support, then enact the agenda you were elected on." Whether one sees this as a dangerous game of brinkmanship or something that actually strengthens Correa's hand by placing him in the middle zone ideologically, it is worth seeing this at face value and beware of getting led astray by some of the usual suspect conspiracy theorists of the statist left who are predictably out there barking that the CONAIE is somehow an agent of imperialism, dropping rumors of US AID funding but never seeming to exhibit the hard evidence. Sigh. What Johnny-One-Notes! They wouldn't know nuance if it slapped them in the face. For them, you either line up lock-step with THE STATE (if it is "their" state) or you're a running dog of capitalism. That kind of Stalinist purge mentality should have died with the previous century.

The CONAIE's grievances happen to be very legitimate. Of course, they do not justify a coup d'etat, but the CONAIE is not participating in or supporting the coup d'etat. It is saying to Correa; we'll have your back, when you have ours.

In a brief piece for the Guardian UK last month, Raúl Zibechi provides some context for the tension described above. A tension that is growing between the "governments of change" and the socio-political movements of the region. Here is the statement directly from CONAIE. And the future is still unwritten...

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